Bookstores publish bestseller lists, music portals create charts and McDonald’s advertises in the USA with the slogan “Billions and billions served”: Popularity as a sales argument. What millions buy is an incentive for millions more. We call this the bestseller effect!
In psychology it is also known as “social proof”. It is based on man’s “herd instinct”: without thinking, we imitate the behavior of others – the group only has to be large enough. The individual assumes that the group is doing the right thing.
Following the majority is a strong motive for action. An experiment published in the Wall Street Journal proves the effect: business psychologists were interested in the sales argument that convinced Americans who normally buy air conditioning systems to buy a fan.
- Argument 1 – Save up to $54 a month with one fan.
- Argument 2 – Think about the environment! Avoid 119 kg of greenhouse gases with a fan.
- Argument 3 – 77% of your neighbours already use an energy-saving fan.
Most sales were generated with argument 3: It provided the social proof! The behavior of the majority is more convincing than the possibility of saving money or doing something for the environment.
We will tell you in 7 steps how to effectively use the bestseller effect for your business, increase subscriber and sales figures.
Step #1 – Make your newsletter a bestseller
Your newsletter already has a considerable number of subscribers? Make the high number of subscribers visible with a subscription counter! Address your target group directly, for example when it comes to fashion: “Check our weekly trendnews like 8,763 fashionistas already did” or as a financial service provider: “Follow our financial tips like 6,195 experts”.
Take advantage of the contagious effect of popularity. It is an indicator of quality and in addition it gives potential subscribers confidence.
Step #2 – Use Social Love
Besides a large community, also a high number of interactions on your pages in social networks is convincing. If your expert tips, trend news or offers receive many likes, shares and comments, then you should definitely spread this proof of your popularity. Social Share buttons can be integrated on any product page, above your subscription counter and even in your promotion mail.
Step #3 – Highlight your bestsellers
Show when products are in demand and communicate high sales figures. Combined with decisive product advantages, they are the most convincing sales argument – for example with a shaping jeans:
Already 1,457 customers love their bottom in their new Form-Fit and there are more enthusiastic customers every day. The sales figures of your cash register hit are not yet convincing? Simply argue with percentages: 76% of our customers opt for the new Form-Fit jeans from XYZ. But sometimes a disrupter or stars are enough to highlight popularity, here an example from Amazon:
Identify high-turnover products: This turns top sellers into bestsellers!
Step #4 – Propagate high customer numbers
High customer numbers are also high turnover references. For example, the US platform InVision advertises its designer app with the sentence: “More than 300,000 designers use InVision. Find out why.”
Many consumers arouse interest and also trigger the fear among business-to-business customers of missing something: “Could it be that I overslept a unique offer or a technical innovation?
Step #5 – Celebrate the success of your customers
Basecamp, developer of a project management tool, goes one step further: in addition to high customer numbers, the success of its own customers is also celebrated as a reference. The claim is: “Last year, Basecamp helped more than 285,000 companies complete more than 2 million projects.
Turn the success of your customers into YOUR success!
Step #6 – Give customers the word
Customer reviews and comments have a high credibility. They reduce the fear of mis purchases. Amazon relies on this social proof. And American studies show that 70% of all online shoppers read the reviews of other customers before taking action.
For your email marketing this means: positive customer reviews of the product or shop belong in your promotional emails!
Step #7 – Benefit from influencers
Influencers are opinion leaders. They are, so to speak, the leaders of the herd. This makes them even more decisive for buying than the herd itself. They determine what is attractive for the majority of a social group. In addition to film, music and TV stars, they also include athletes, experts and online bloggers. If you have contacts to influencers in your industry, try to engage them for your marketing. For example, you sell shoes and know a popular fashion blogger? Suggest a cooperation in which she posts your products. Then effectively communicate the contribution in your campaign e-mail about the product. You will see: such cooperations can be very successful. Whether beauty, sport, cooking, technology or interior design, there is an influencer for every topic with the right community for your products!
Have you gone through all the steps? Then we wish you many bestseller effects for your business!